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Trying the coupon thing

February 18th, 2010 at 03:56 pm

I have a good friend who does the coupon thing and manages free meals all the time.

Now some of what she eats I wont (white pasta, etc) but other items I will (canned tomatoes, beans, cheese)

And this week is some sort of super special double the coupons all the way up to 1.98. so she sent me a couple websites with ideas, and it turns out a couple items on them we would use, and a couple would be good for donation.

mrsmoneysaver

She has many different pieces of info, you can just click on the store deals and it will open a window with all sorts of stores and which coupons make this free or at least a good price.

Plus I had found another site, with similar info, and a printable shopping list. Only trouble is they didn't seem to agree on prices.

First off I noticed that if I had been getting a paper for a few weeks, I would have a lot more options of free items. Then I noticed, that while a few items were usefull for us, most were just donation type stuff. Since I had two bags to fill for my daughters scout troop food collection; I thought at least the bags could be filled a bit cheaper than normal.

Then I found that there was more work in printing coupons than I thought, some required info and emails, others some sort of printing software.

Regardless, I printed out a lot of coupons and gave it a try.

My HT receipt shows a savings of 63.49. But final tally was 43.64

Not as cool as many manage, but partly inflated due to me buying things we needed regardless of 'super' deals. The mustard was a fine price at a little over a dollar after coupon, not amazing, but better than paying full price (and we were out of it) Bananas were on sale at 40cents a lb, but not amazingly low or anything.

On the other hand we did manage some really cool deals.

The toothpaste was not on my grocery list, but it was two free tubes. The junky bagel bites, not needed, but a fun free treat.

Most of what we bought was either going to donations, or on our list regardless of price. (Though several had coupons, so nice to find list items that match coupons)

In the end the trip was worth it, the time to compile the list and print was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it has a learning curve, I expect if I manage to do this again, it wont take so long.

I wasn't so lucky at target, though two of the three things were made better by coupons. (the third was cheaper generic)

I also had a printable rebate for Olay, 15 back for any three items. I spent several minutes at the store trying to find items for $5, but in the end I gave up I wasn't sure what counted, nor if they would send me 15 if the item was only 3.99 each, what if they didn't send me anything because the item was to small?

I went back to the website that had the printable target trip I don't know if I will try again, I might just pass this off to my coupon friend!
BTW the items would be for donation, the church collects body wash, and the like for a womans shelter.

I hope to have more luck in the future getting coupons to match sales, but wont be too surprised if it turns out hard and we never do more than save on occasional items.

4 Responses to “Trying the coupon thing”

  1. girltherapy Says:

    I live in a rural area, and also have a hard time matching coupons to sale items (seldom ) or even with the coupon, the generic or store brand is cheaper. Also, the local grocery is a Spartan store, but a smaller one, so there are many items that they don't carry the store brand of anyway. So first I hit the dollar store, and maybe we do without for another week.

  2. homebody Says:

    I too live in a rural area and don't see the coupons others talk about. We don't even get the Proctor and Gamble ones! Arrghh I would totally be into couponing if they were not so hard to find. But just today I sent a bag of food to the local political woman's group I belong too with DH since I could not attend the luncheon. I should keep my eyes open for good deals even if I would not eat them, I could donate, cold cereals, etc. I don't mean crap I just mean stuff I don't eat.

  3. dmontngrey Says:

    I have a ball doing the whole coupon thing! I've gotten so much free food and given so much of it away. You can get healthier stuff too, it's just harder to find. I laughed at your white pasta comment - as I sit here and eat my wheat pasta that I got for free. I got 64 boxes of pasta that week and more than half of it was wheat pasta. It's been an acquired taste for me, but not bad at all. Smile

  4. Dana @ Mrs. Moneysaver Says:

    Hi there! Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Mrs. Moneysaver. I'm glad you were able to score some bargains at Harris Teeter this week.

    Yes, there's definitely a learning curve to printing, clipping, and organizing coupons for a shopping trip, but it will get easier. It took me about a month to really get into the swing of it and, at that point, it began taking much less time.

    And like the previous commenter said, you can definitely find healthy food for free/cheap. You just have to look a bit harder. Even though I post about cheap Hamburger Helper and Pop-Tarts, we never eat those things, and I'm able to get some great deals on healthier options. (I have to admit, we did buy a couple of those Bagel Bites too though. Smile )I'll be sharing a bit on my blog in the next week or two about spending less while eating well, so you might find that helpful!

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